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Kelsey Clark

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Kelsey has many fond memories of family camping trips across South Africa when she was growing up and for her, this sparked a growing love for the wilderness and opportunities to seek new adventures. Although she studied BComm Financial Management and spent five ...

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on The Nkuhuma’s in the North – An Update

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Senior Digital Ranger

The number of lions sighted is quite amazing! It reminds me of our day at Londolozi in 2018 where we were in awe of at least a dozen or more Cubs together tended by one tired babysitter lioness.

It really is a great feeling seeing so many lions together and that is a great memory to have of your time here Camille 🙂

Great photos, Kelsey. It’s always great to see a big pride of lions in one spot. They look so beautiful in this golden light.

Thank you Christa, it was a great sighting of them all together and an added bonus in the morning golden light!

Hi, the pictures are superb and lions couldn’t be in better condition it seems. What strikes me it is also the fact that I never saw a “one-eyed lioness” in Londolozi. Where are the Black Dam Males from? The older one seems to be at last four year old. Are there young cubs as well in the Nkuhuma pride? Otherwise the new males would arrive at the right time to establish a new dynasty

Kelsey, thank you for the update. It will be fascinating to observe the pride over the next year.

Pleasure William, I am also very intrigued to see what will happen over the coming months! Will be sure to keep you updated.

Great article. Mohawk Avoca is my favourite lion alive today, miss Dark Mane and Blondie. Too bad their wasn’t a pic of him.

I think the age gap might be too much but I’d like him and his sons to form a coalition like the Notches. I love Mohawk but his days are numbered as an older solo male.

It’s good to know Kelsey that the Nkuhumas are still around and seemingly doing well. I last saw them with two of the Avocas a couple of years ago when their numbers were strong. It will be interesting to see how life plays out for them since the Black Dans have entered the scene and the sub adults will be splitting off eventually. The one thing that stays the same is “change” – looking forward to future updates.

Exactly Denise! Excited to see what changes lie ahead for the Nkuhumas 🙂

Senior Digital Ranger

I can’t wait to see the Nkhuma pride as well as the northern Avoca. The northern Avocas always seem to be on territorial patrol and I miss them every time. Great photos!

Thank you Ann! Hopefully you will catch them next time 🙂

We WildEarth viewers are always eager to hear about and see “our” Nkuhumas! Glad that you got to see both subsets of the pride. We are hoping that Mohawk Avoca might stick together with the young males as they slowly but surely separate from the pride. The lionesses will hopefully regroup again and maintain the integrity of the pride. The Ridge Nose lioness in the west is still raising her subadults, by herself now that Amber Eyes went missing. But the addition of the Black Dam males is clearly going to create some chaos and confusion and changes along the way in the next few months!

Kelsey your update on the Nkuhuma pride is rewarding as you also the last Advoca Male . The lions lined up for the foto is stunning. So sorry to see you were rewarded the pink pouch. I think you are an awesome Ranger and you are brave driving in those difficult conditions.

Thank you Valmai, it was still a great adventure getting stuck in the mud and the lion sightings sure were a great reward too! 🙂

Thanks for this post Kelsey, wonderful pictures of these very special lions! One of the two sisters who moved west with the Plains Camp Males died late last year but her sister has been successfully rearing her two sub-adults (born Feb 2022, 1M,1F) by herself since.

The composition of the cubs born to the pride in 2019 are four males (the second young male pictured in this article is actually the youngest of the 2019 litters and his mother is the oldest of the pride’s lionesses still seen in the Northern Sabi Sand) and two females (daughters of the lioness who died in the west last year).
The pride was fractured for a time following an encounter with two of the Ndzhenga Males on MalaMala, with three of the sub-adults born in 2021 joining with the oldest lioness and the 2019 surviving offspring of the Avocas, and four with the three females. One of the female youngsters died on Chitwa Chitwa property during this time.

The two groups often do join up together and then separate which seems to work in terms of their getting enough food. In the last couple of weeks, the four males have been moving by themselves, and for awhile, with the Avoca Male and one of the two Talamati males (both have since separated). All the lionesses have been seen together for the most part since the boys went off on their own. The current composition is:
– 1 lioness born in 2013 (aka as the Chela female)
– 1 lioness born May 2016 (aka the Pale-Eyed Lioness, pictured with a sub-adult in one of your pics)
– 1 lioness born late May-early June 2016 (aka the Tattered-Eared Lioness)
– 1 lioness born July 2016 (daughter of the lioness in the western Sabi Sand, her younger brother is the oldest of the four males born in 2019)
– 2 females born July 2019 (daughters of the lioness that died last year)
– 6* sub-adults born in April-May 2021 (3M, 3F)
*- I am not sure if this is still the case but if so it is the sex ratio of the youngsters.

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